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Controlling Pain and Swelling

Your physiotherapist will be there to run you through the exercise targets as well as manipulate the ankle in order to restore normal motion again and reduce the swelling/pain.

First 2 weeks

Even though it seems that you are unable to do much at this stage it is vital that you get going on some simple things and follow the advice as it makes the later rehab a lot easier as things do eventually settle. After any operation it is normal to expect a varying amount of pain and swelling. Your consultant will probably have discussed pain relief and the use of anti-inflammatory medication that is appropriate for you to use. It often seems like the first couple of weeks is very slow and frustrating but remember that it is not a linear process and things very quickly speed up once the wounds are healed and the swelling and pain come under control.

1) Continue to take the anti inflammatory medication that the Surgeon has prescribed to you as recommended.
2) Ice/cold packs are also very useful applied over the swelling. Optimum application for this is around 15 minutes up to every hour. Take care initially to check that your skin
3) Elevate the legs so that your ankle is above your heart when resting e.g. lying on a couch with your foot up. Try to avoid leaving the foot on the ground resting for long periods of time as gravity tracks the fluid back down the shin and pools the swelling around the ankle and into the foot again whilst your calf muscle is not working normally.
4) Avoid alcohol as this can increase inflammation in the initial stages.

Initially the progress is slow but getting inflammation under control is very important and the rate of progress soon starts to accelerate after the first 10-14 days after most procedures.

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